Exterior House Painting Using Scaffolding
Reaching the work
Ground floor windows can be reached from a hop-up, or from a board supported between step-ladders. To reach, bargeboards and upper windows, you will need a ladder or scaffolding.
Ladders. The extension type of ladder is best because it can be adjusted to the height of the work. To erect a ladder by yourself, push its foot against the foot of the wall, lift the top end over your head, and walk towards the wall, raising the ladder rung by rung into the vertical position. Then pull the foot of the ladder out from the wall.
A helper can put a foot on the bottom rung and steady the ladder as you walk forward raising it from the ground.
The distance between the foot of the ladder and the wall should be about a quarter of the height of the ladder.
Extension ladders should be erected in the closed position, and extended when upright. Make sure that the locking device is well seated on its supporting rung.
If you are right-handed, start painting at the right-hand side of a window etc., so that as you move along the ladder will rest on surfaces that have not yet been painted.
Try to arrange the ladder so that as you work your shoulder will be level with the top. This gives plenty of ladder to hold on to, and makes sure that you will not be kept too far away from the work by the slope of the ladder.
Do secure the top of the ladder if possible by tying it to a convenient anchor point. If you cannot do this, get a helper on the ground to hold the ladder while you are working.
Do secure the bottom of the ladder so that it cannot slip, eg. by tying it to a peg driven into the ground, or by getting an assistant to stand on the bottom rung.
Do wrap the top of the ladder with rag, to prevent it from damaging freshly painted surfaces.
Do make yourself an S-shaped hook, like a meat hook, on which to hang your paint kettle from a rung. This will allow you to keep one hand on the ladder.
Do not rest a ladder on glass, plastic guttering or glazing bars. Lash a block of wood to the ladder to prevent it from touching a plastic.
Do not drag a ladder down guttering, rendering or brickwork. Lift it clear before moving it, or you will get damaged walls and loosened guttering.
Do not over-extend an extension ladder. At least 25 per cent of the top ladder should be supported by the section below.
Easy-to-assemble towers give a safe working platform up to a height of about 9.8 m (31 ft 8 in) and can be hired.
If there is a firm, level surface around a building, sectional scaffold towers fitted with castor wheels, each with a locking device, can be helpful. You will be able to move the tower without dismantling it, but before you start working, make sure that you have locked the wheels.
Rigid safety standards are laid down for commercial firms using scaffolding, and it is worth copying them by using guard rails and toe boards.
A 5 m (16 ft) mobile scaffold tower, including toe boards andboards, can be hired by the week, plus delivery and collection charges.